HYBUILD at the 13th IIR Conference on Phase-Change Materials and Slurries for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

Phase change materials and slurries are becoming key components in the energy mix of the future. Transitioning from a society relying on carbon-based energy to one relying on renewable energies will require coordinating energy demand with source availability.

A viable option to achieve this result is through thermal energy storage, as it is one of the most efficient ways to store energy, and phase change materials can help make thermal energy storage better adapted and more financially competitive.

The 13th IIR Conference on Phase-Change Materials and Slurries for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning provided an open international forum where academics and stakeholders from across the globe presented and discussed the latest research findings, developments and trends in the field.

Our partner University of Lleida, GREiA Research Group, Prof. Luisa F. Cabeza gave a keynote speech which allowed the project to gain visibility amongst the participants showing the effective use of phase change materials in the HYBUILD systems to support thermal energy storage integration with electric storage for improving the share of renewables and overall system efficiency.

Further information on the conference website.

HYBUILD system installation in Spain

We are making great progress with the installation of the HYBUILD mediterranean system in our Almatret pilot in Spain !

You can learn further about the ambition of Almatret to become a benchmark in the use of renewable energies on the Almia Energy website.

And you can follow the progress of the installations of the HYBUILD system at our three demonstrations through the Google Photos albums accessible from the Pilot sites page of our website.

1ères Assises Azuréennes de la Transition Energétique

On July 8th 2021, our partner R2M Solution contributed to the 1st French Riviera Energy Transition Forum (“1ères Assises Azuréennes de la Transition Energétique”) which was organised in Nice (France) at the Allianz Riviera stadium.

1st French Riviera Energy Transition Forum

This new event organised by the ‘Energy cluster’ of the French Riviera Chamber of Commerce was aiming at stimulating networking and business opportunities between local industrial stakeholders and public authorities committed to the development of innovations to tackle energy transition challenges.

R2M Solution French team exhibiting research results from its innovative Energy-transition EU funded projects

The French branch of R2M Solution, headquartered on the Côte d’Azur in Roquefort-les-Pins, contributed to the event by exhibiting cutting-edge innovations from its portfolio of EU R&I projects including HYBUILD. The R2M French team also participated to one-to-one business meetings to further present these innovations with interested local stakeholders and discuss potential future partnerships.

This event should be organised every year, further details can be found on the event website.

Hybrid thermal & electrical solutions for energy efficient buildings

HYBUILD hybrid innovative solution in featured in an article authored by our partner NOBATEK INEF4. This publication (in French) is part of a series of articles focused on renewables energies, from buildings to cities, published on the Construction 21 web portal, the social network on sustainable buildings and cities.

Read the summary of all articles here, and the HYBUILD specific article here.

HYBUILD at Enerstock 2021

Our partners UDL GREiA Research Group and CNR ITAE presented HYBUILD results at the ENERSTOCK 2021 conference, which was held online.

ENERSTOCK 2021 Conference

A great opportunity to share latest test results of the HYBUILD Continental and Mediterranean systems, which are being installed at our three pilot sites in Spain, Cyprus, and Austria. Follow the progress of our three HYBUILD demonstration sites on our Pilots page.

UDL GREiA Research group contributing to ENERSTOCK 2021 conference
HYBUILD test results presented by CNR ITAE at ENERSTOCK 2021 conference

Download the HYBUILD poster presented by CNR ITAE

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of an Innovative Compact Hybrid Electrical-Thermal Storage System for Residential Buildings in Mediterranean Climate

MDPI Sustainability just released a special issue “Life-Cycle Assessment of Energy Storage in Building Applications guest-edited by Prof. Dr. Luisa F. Cabeza, Dr. Emiliano Borri and Dr. Gabriel Zsembinszki from GREiA research group, University of Lleida, Spain. This Special Issue aims to contribute to studying the sustainability, through LCA analysis, of the integration of different energy storage solutions applied to buildings.

This Special Issue contains a new scientific paper presenting the LCA analysis of the HYBUILD Mediterranean system.

Executive Summary

The buildings sector is one of the least sustainable activities in the world, accounting for around 40% of the total global energy demand. With the aim to reduce the environmental impact of this sector, the use of renewable energy sources coupled with energy storage systems in buildings has been investigated in recent years. Innovative solutions for cooling, heating, and domestic hot water in buildings can contribute to the buildings’ decarbonization by achieving a reduction of building electrical consumption needed to keep comfortable conditions.

Continue reading “Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of an Innovative Compact Hybrid Electrical-Thermal Storage System for Residential Buildings in Mediterranean Climate”

Deep Learning Optimal Control for a Complex Hybrid Energy Storage System

Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) proved to be successful for solving complex control problems and has become a hot topic in the field of energy systems control, but for the particular case of thermal energy storage (TES) systems, only a few studies have been reported, all of them with a complexity degree of the TES system far below the one of this study.

In this new scientific paper by our partner GREiA Research Group at University of Lleida, published in the MDPI Buildings Special Issue “Novel Technologies to Enhance Energy Performance and Indoor Environmental Quality of Buildings, we step forward through a DRL architecture able to deal with the complexity of an innovative hybrid energy storage system, devising appropriate high-level control operations (or policies) over its subsystems that result optimal from an energy or monetary point of view.

Diagram of smart control implementation in the HYBUILD system

The results show that a DRL policy in the system control can reduce the system operating costs by more than 50%, as compared to a rule-based control (RBC) policy, for cooling supply to a reference residential building in Mediterranean climate during a period of 18 days. Moreover, a robustness analysis was carried out, which showed that, even for large errors in the parameters of the system simulation models corresponding to an error multiplying factors up to 2, the average cost obtained with the original model deviates from the optimum value by less than 3%, demonstrating the robustness of the solution over a wide range of model errors.

Read the full paper

Hybrid Cascade Heat Pump and Thermal-Electric Energy Storage System for Residential Buildings: Experimental Testing and Performance Analysis

The need for innovative heating and cooling systems to decarbonize the building sector is widely recognized. It is especially important to increase the share of renewables at building level by maximizing self-consumption and reducing the primary energy demand.

This new MDPI Energies journal paper, led by our partner CNR ITAE, presents the results on a wide experimental campaign on the HYBUILD hybrid system.

Graphical abstract

The system included a sorption module working as the topping cycle in a cascade configuration with a DC-driven vapor compression heat pump. A three-fluids heat exchanger with a phase change material (PCM), i.e., RT4 with nominal melting temperature of 4 °C, was installed on the evaporator side of the heat pump, for simultaneous operation as thermal storage and heat pumping purposes. The heat pump was connected to a DC-bus that included PV connection and electricity storage (batteries). Results showed that the energy efficiency of the heat pump in cascade operation was double compared to compression-only configuration and that, when simultaneously charging and discharging the latent storage in cascade configuration, no penalization in terms of efficiency compared to the compression-only configuration was measured. The self-sufficiency of the system was evaluated for three reference weeks in summer conditions of Athens climate and it was found that up to 100% of the electricity needed to drive the system could be self-produced for a modest cooling demand and up to 67% for the warmer conditions with high cooling demand.

Read the full paper